The Utah Valley University volleyball team put up a good fight in four sets against New Mexico State on the road in Las Cruces on Thursday, Oct. 24, but ultimately couldn’t take down the top-ranked team in the WAC.
UVU kept it close for the entirety of the match but couldn’t knock the Aggies off and stop them from securing their tenth-straight win in WAC play.
In set one, the Aggies opened things up with a 6-1 run, only to see their lead dissipate with the Wolverines roaring back to take a 13-9 lead of their own. The two teams fought back and forth until late in the set when UVU held a 21-19 lead. The Aggies responded with a 8-4 run to close out the first set after a few late miscues by the Wolverines.
Set two was much like the first, with the two squads battling back-and-forth. NMSU had a chance to close out the second set on two separate occasions but was unable to capitalize either time as UVU closed out on a 3-0 run to seal the deal and knot things up at one game a piece. The score was tied a total of 26 times with 12 lead changes in the first two sets of the match.
Sets Three and Four:
Although it was close the rest of the way, NMSU utilized big runs in the third and fourth sets to sneak out of their own building to remain undefeated in conference play. UVU showed that they can compete with the top team —or any team — in the WAC; however, they will have to focus on cutting down on errors down the stretch of games for the remainder of conference play and the postseason if they want to get back to the conference championship like last year.
Sophomore outside hitter Kazna Tarawhiti lead the Wolverines with 15 kills while redshirt senior middle blocker Megan Childs posted 10 kills of her own. Senior Makaila Jarema showed out on defense again and tallied six blocks on the night with Tarawhiti also adding five. Senior Madi Wardle led the team with 24 assists on the night. The Wolverines as a team earned 46 kills and matched the Aggies with 11 blocks.
UVU’s road doesn’t get any easier this road trip as they now head to Texas to face conference foe UT Rio Grande Valley on Monday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m. MST.